WASHINGTON, Jan. 20, 2017 - Donald Trump assumed the presidency today with a strong, populist pledge to rebuild the economy and the nation’s infrastructure by putting American interests first.
In a relatively short, 16-minute inaugural address, Trump also directly challenged the Congress, which is controlled by his own party: “What truly matters is not which party controls our government, but whether our government is controlled by the people.”
With Trump taking over at noon, the new White House posted several plans outlining Trump’s plans on energy, the economy and trade.
The plans promised 4 percent economic growth and pledged to kill the “waters of the United States” rule, withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership and renegotiate the North American Free-Trade Agreement. Both the TPP and NAFTA have strong support across agricultural sectors.
In his inaugural address, Trump painted a dark picture of America as burdened by poverty, crime, poor education and drug use. “This American carnage stops right here and stops right now,” he said.
He pressed his pledges to shift the focus of U.S. trade policy to enforcing and renegotiating existing agreements and to pour money into infrastructure needs.
He portrayed Americans as having been ripped off by a government that has “enriched foreign industry at the expense of American industry” and “spent trillions of dollars overseas while America's infrastructure has fallen into disrepair and decay."
At another point, he said, “From this moment on, it’s going to be America First. Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs, will be made to benefit American workers and American families.” He promised to build "new roads, and highways, and bridges, and airports, and tunnels, and railways all across our wonderful nation."
While the speech sounded similar notes as his campaign speeches, he also included several messages of unity. “Through our loyalty to our country, we will rediscover our loyalty to each other,” he said. “When you open your heart to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice."